Alive and kicking

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FRANCISCO FRANCO: Still alive in Valle de los Caidos


THE judge who last month upheld an appeal to halt Francisco Franco’s exhumation from the Valle de los Caidos explained his position long before.

The Historical Memory Law “represents the thirst for revenge on the part of the defeated”, he maintained in a 2007 magazine article.

The Historical Memory Law, passed in 2007 during Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s first term as president, recognises the victims of both Civil War bands, gives rights to victims and the descendants of victims during the Civil War and Francisco Franco’s post-war dictatorship, while formally condemning his regime.

Despite its good intentions, the Historical Memory Law still rankles with some descendants of some victors.

The old claim that there are two Spains has not been laid to rest along with the old dictator who still lies in state in the Valle de Los Caidos.

On the contrary, it’s no myth and it’s alive and occasionally it kicks as well.

Alone on a tandem

AS a thoroughly modern father, Podemos leader Pablo Casado must be kicking himself for taking paternity leave with so much going on.

The latest CIS rankings put Unidos Podemos, the Podemos-Izquierda Unida alliance, on 17 per cent and level pegging with Ciudadanos.

Not bad, but not what the party wants just now and it is waiting for the Iglesias effect to kick in.

His political and sentimental partner Irene Montero is doing her best without him but despite her innovative feminism – she invented the unnecessary, incorrect and anti-mellifluous portavoza for spokeswoman – she is curiously ineffectual and colourless without Iglesias by her side.

It takes two to tango and it needs two to make progress on a tandem, too.

More harm than good

THE Madrid trial for rebellion, sedition and misappropriation of public funds of 12 members of the previous Catalan government grinds on.

We know now that the Basque Region’s president Javier Urkullu tried unsuccessfully to mediate with his Catalan counterpart Carles Puigdemont.

Giving evidence as a witness during the Proces trial, Urkullu stated that Mariano Rajoy, then president of the Spanish government, wanted to avoid applying Article 155 of the Constitution which would suspend the region’s autonomous status.

Not so Rajoy’s successor at the head of the Partido Popular, Pablo Casado who wants to apply it permanently and more harshly.

Presumably Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera would not be averse to this, either, as his views are flexible on most issues except Cataluña.

He was venomously critical of Pedro Sanchez’s failed attempts at dialogue which, as a Catalan viscerally opposed to independence, he interprets as weakness.

Casado and Rivera increasingly give the impression that they are as fanatically opposed to rationality and mediation as the Catalan separatists.

And ultimately, they are capable of inflicting as much harm to the region they want to save.

Surprise! Surprise!

HIGH-RANKING members of the extremely conservative Vox party have been meeting members of Donald Trump’s administration in Washington.

“We have similar ideas,” said Ivan Espinosa de los Monteros, Vox’s vice-secretary for International Relations. Who would ever have guessed it?

 

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